Legislative Assembly for the ACT: Week 6 Hansard (24 June) . . Page.. 2651..
MR PRATT (continuing):
human and financial resourcing. The figures show that Canberra has the lowest number of police in Australia per capita.
Am I wrong in recalling the failed Labor election promise that Labor would implement a program to restore the number of police officers available to at least the national average? The Productivity Commission report shows that the Labor government has failed to deliver on their election promise and highlights deficiencies in ministerial responsibility and the current purchasing agreement for the provision of policing in the ACT.
I could talk about the neglect of Gungahlin 24/7, but I will leave that to my learned colleague here. I will leave it to my colleague to talk about Mr Keelty's comment today that the ACT gets what it pays for. The state of police numbers in the ACT is dangerous for the community and must be improved. This government needs to take urgent action.
MR WOOD (Minister for Disability, Housing and Community Services, Minister for Urban Services, Minister for Arts and Heritage and Minister for Police and Emergency Services) (3.24): What a hypocritical motion this is! It is remarkable. Mr Pratt ought to go back into history a little but, since he will not, I will do it for him. There have never been more police in the ACT than there are right now. There are 40 more police in the ACT now than when the Labor Party came into government. Mr Pratt did not mention that.
Mr Pratt did not go back to the figures when ACT Policing, along with AFP national, provided police to East Timor. At that time ACT Policing numbers on the street dropped to an all-time low when Mr Pratt's Liberals-he was not here then-were in government. Mt Pratt makes mention of our policy commitments. He did not mention the very specific commitment, which the Liberals did not match, that we would increase police numbers by 20 over three years. They had no such commitment. That has been done.
In the last budget we committed to more police-10 over each of the next two years. So there is a clear increase in police numbers of 40. The Liberals were never able to manage numbers anywhere close to that. I say again that, with the East Timor commitment, they ran the police numbers right down. At that time Mr Stefaniak, Mr Humphries or Mr Smyth-whoever was the police minister of the day-did not do as I did and go to the federal minister for police and say, "Now listen, in respect of overseas deployments, we need to look after ACT interests."That is what I did, but the numbers that you allowed to go to East Timor allowed our local police numbers to run down considerably.
Mr Stefaniak: That was Mr Humphries.
MR WOOD: Mr Stefaniak acknowledges that. That is not the case in my dealings-my very good dealings, I might say. I believe I have a very good relationship with the federal minister and the AFP commissioner. This is a hypocritical motion. No-one has treated police as badly, as far as numbers are concerned, as those people sitting opposite. It is to the credit of this government that we have been providing more police.
A little while ago, with Mr Keelty, I announced a study into a number of aspects of ACT police and the contract that defines the way we deal with the ACT police. Among other